Thursday, June 6, 2019

Kathleen Hale Is a Crazy Stalker

Kathleen Hale Is a Crazy Stalker by Kathleen Hale
Grove/Atlantic: 6/4/19
eBook review copy; 176 pages
ISBN-13: 9780802129093

Kathleen Hale Is a Crazy Stalker by Kathleen Hale is a highly recommended collection of six previously published essays that have been revised since their original publication. This is a collection described as portraying both predator and prey. In these autobiographical essays, Kathleen Hale openly and candidly discusses her mental health and presents/confesses clearly and consistently several difficult incidents in her life. She never tries to present herself as above the fray or better than others.

Contents include:
Catfish: An essay rehashing the 2014 catfishing by a G.R. YA reviewer and Hale's response, which was to catfish and stalk the reviewer. (More on this later.) 
Prey: Hale recounts her sexual assault as a first year college student and the two trials in which she testified against her attacker. This is the strongest essay in the collection.
I Hunted Feral Hogs as a Favor to the World: Hale and a friend take a trip to hunt feral hogs in Florida.  Although, perhaps the weakest essay in the collection, it does capture the crazy stalker theme.
Cricket: This is a description of a trip to Atlantic City to watch the Miss America pageant, as well as describe the audiences reaction to it.
Snowflake: Hale is allowed to visit, after extensive preparation, a community of people suffering from "environmental illness" which is located in Snowflake, Arizona.
First I Got Pregnant. Then I Decided to Kill the Mountain Lion.: A pregnant Hale becomes obsessed with a mountain lion living in nearby Hollywood’s Griffith Park and is sure she needs to track it down and kill it before her child is born.

Okay, now to address the elephant in the room. While I obviously don't condone her stalking a reviewer, reviewers have to realize authors can look into their profiles and perhaps expand their research to find out more about their negative and positive reviewers. We also need to admit that "gangs" of negative reviewers can also happen when someone doesn't agree with a differing opinion, and then tells all their friends about their outrage. In 2007 I blogged a negative review. Comments from my readers were in agreement and one respectfully disagreed. Life went on until 2011 when someone online stumbled across the review and proceeded to immediately and repeatedly attacked me and called in their online friends to do the same. I pulled the post down. The stalkerish behavior and trolling can go both ways. (This is an unbiased review of the book. I did not followed the previous "Hale-no" controversy.)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grove/Atlantic.

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